Saturday, October 2, 2010

We had a terrific Saturday practice this morning. All around, great performance from each of our three training groups. It was nice to have the distance group plus our HS Freshman in the pool early because I got to focus on their set -- and then focus on the main set for the rest of the group afterwards.

Our Distance group did 3x1000 on about 2:30 rest. I wanted everyone to swim a strong first and second 1000, then go for a swim that was within 30 seconds of their best time. Here's how it went:

BT (best time coming in 10:23) 10:22, 10:21, 10:16.1
Haley (best time coming in 10:19) 10:53, 10:54, 10:45.0
Maddie (best time coming in 10:48) 11:24, 11:25, 11:16.1

Haley and Maddie got under that 30 second mark on #3, and were very close on the first two as well -- which made for a great overall set. BT went a best time on #1, then another best time on #2 -- then another best time on the third one. Does BT stand for Brandon Thoman, or does it stand for "Best Time" ?

Our HS Freshman group did a set of 4x200, 3x200, 2x200, 1x200 FreeIM with 6x50 between rounds. The first set of 4 were on (250); the 3 were on (245); the two were on (240),and the last one was fast.

Connor averaged around 230, went 227,229 on the pair, then a 220 on the end
Hayley averaged around 231-235, and went a 225 on the end
Sammie averaged around 240-243, went a few 238s -- and a 229.9 on the end
Avery kicked every final 200 of each round and went 246-247 on the final two rounds.

Off the tail end of the above sets, we started a set of 150s with the rest of the group. The set was 12x150 -- every 4th fast stroke. The first 4 were on (2), the next 4 were on (205), and the next two were on (210). Most people did freestyle, but we had a few stroke swimmers as well.

A few of the highlights:
Erika led the way with a 126, 124, 120.7 (26.0-27.7-26.9)
Jack was awesome as well: 127, 125, 120.7 (26.0-27.3-27.4)
Rachel was 133, 130, 126.4 (27.3-29.2-29.89)
Andrew (Back) 137, 133, 130+ on the end (this dude's best time is 206 - do the math)

We have an optional type practice tomorrow (thanks for speaking up -- those that wanted to come) -- and then AM practices on Monday and Wednesday. Let's have a great week of training!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There are two types of athletes in the world. Which type are you?

There are the types of athletes who do the right thing when the coach is watching, and only when the coach is watching. Generally this type of athlete feels like most pratices are "too hard" -- and often wonders why the coach asks so much.

There are the types of athletes who do the right thing when the coach isn't watching. Normally this type of athlete leaves practice after not doing so well, and they cannot wait for the next practice opportunity.

Which one are you?

Think about it, and honestly come up with a conclusion. Are you striving for some degree of mediocrity, or are you going to turn into the best athlete you can be?

Most athletes start as the first type -- while a few seem to be born with an innate idea of the second. My view is that we have quite a few people who are starting to function as the second type of athlete. It's not like everyone is the second type right now, but we're doing better each week at T2 Aquatics -- and moving as a group in the right direction. If you are leading the charge, keep going. You will be successful as an athlete, and later in life as a parent and a professional.

Which type would you like to see developed in yourself?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

T2 Seniors:

Check out my new post on "Developing the Champion Within" -- another blog I've got going.

Another Level

What must an athlete do to “Take it to Another Level” ?
I often find myself in conversation discussing this subject. It’s discussed in the office, on the pool deck, over the phone with friends, coaches, parents – and on the deck with swimmers. It’s occurred to me that different people have their own ideas of what “Another Level” actually is, and differing opinions how we go about getting there.

I have a problem accepting the idea that “Another Level” is an actual place or circumstance. To me, “Another Level” can happen anywhere, based on an individual’s mind-state – particularly in regards to swimming training and performance.

I’ve heard collegiate swimming referred to as “The Next Level”, in comparison to USS club swimming. Also, I’ve heard club swimming referred to as “The Next Level” when compared to High School swimming. I understand the idea behind these statements, but consider them to be large generalizations – generalizations which are believed by athletes, and in my opinion do them an injustice. “The Next Level” is not a fixed state, circumstance, or place – is a readily accessible mind-state, to which we have constant and ever-expanding access.

The “Next Level” is whatever we make it. The “Next Level” is OUR CREATION. Without interaction with the “Next Level” – and I mean exciting, personal interaction – the “Next Level” only exists as a fictional place in a fictional time.

We are at the Next Level as soon as we wake up and create it in the pool, on the track, on the deck, or in the office each day. As soon as we raise our standards, we are THERE – looking the next level directly in the eye. Once we are seeing that next level in daily training, we must begin to search for the next NEXT LEVEL. There is always another level! The next level is not found as you move from High School swimming to Club swimming, although the amount of practice time may increase and your coaching may change. Similarly, the next level is not reached because you take yourself from a Club swimming situation (as a High School Student) to a Collegiate swimming situation (as a College Student). The next level is reached by changing your mind – changing the way you think, changing your standards of what it means to be successful, changing your ability to think bigger than your currently are, changing your sense of creativity and what you consider possible, changing your resolve to experience physical discomfort, changing your determination to put off overloading social ‘responsibilities’, changing your ability to not only ignore – but dismiss detractors of your goal from your mind.

It takes practice and confidence to feel this way, and create your next level. You have think about it a little bit, and decide that you are the creator of your life.
Out-training and out-working your “Old Self” is one way to create your “New Self” – and once you do it, THAT’S the next level.

The thing about excellence is that it’s always moving forward!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We've had some really nice stuff at practice over the last few days.

A few of our main sets:

Our distace group pulled a 200-400-600-800 on Monday AM

We had a FAST set of 50s with fins and paddles on Monday AM as well.

On Monday afternoon we did a "speed limit" threshold set geared toward swimming well and fairly fast, with a low Heart Rate. Some did 3x400 (450), then 6x200 -- 3 on (225) and 3 on (220).....others did 4x200, 4x150, 4x150 free.....and others did 3x200, 4x150, 5x100 (125). We didn't look for great times here, just solid swimming. I actually put a speed limit on the swims, so we couldn't go faster than what I considered to be our Aerobic/Anaerobic threshold paces.

Tuesday was a meet day for most athletes, and an active rest set for some. The active rest set was:

PreSet (3x)

25 (30) mix
50 (45) free*
75 (115) 25 dps, 25 back, 25 drill
100 (120) free ** descend
4x25 (30) easy

Then the Main Set (which was the preset, doubled):

50 (40) free
100 (120) free*
150 (220) 50 dps, 50 back, 50 drill
200 (230) free *** descend
4x50 (50) mixed easy

On Wednesday (today) we had two groups:

One group went 18x100 (120)or (130)...or 12x100 (2) -- one swim, one kick fast.

The other group went an AWESOME mid distance stroke set:


Free (230)
FreeIM (240)
Stroke (250)*descend 1-5

(Stroke was either back or breast)


Here is just a snapshot of some results:

Ridge pushed two 22s and a 21+ 50 free with fins and paddles
Haley went an 823.1 800 pull, after a 406 last Friday
Erika even split a 151.8 200 free after going 155,154 earlier in the set
Ridge went a 148.9 at the end of the 200s set, after a 156, 154
Nata went a 159 -- same set, after a 2:00 and a 2:02
Haley went a 157.4 -- same set, after a 1:59 and a 2:02
Bun went a lifetime best 100 back in the HS meet (107+)
Aidan went a lifetime best 100 free (48+)
(missing some HS results here I know)
Rachel kicked a 112 at the end of her set today
Sara kicked a 118 at the end of her 100s kick set today
Katie K kicked a 120 -- same set
Lincoln and Sammie did a few sub 130s today, big kicks for them
Max was sub 130 for the first time
Hayley went a 110 100 back best time after a set of 18x100 (130) evens fast
BT went a 201 200 back at the end of 15x200 (after swimming up Hayley's back for 6 strokes on the final 50) -- which is a PR by ??
Haley went 235 breast 200 after a 239 and a 240 - and did so with BT on her back for at least 6 strokes -- PR is 230.9
Rice Rice baby went a 209 back at the end of the 15x200 -- PR is 206
Maddie was 219 back -- same set -- PR is 218
Marchello was 238 -- PR is 235 -- and he probably had less than 20 seconds rest after each of the 15 200s today, sometimes getting only 5 or so. Tough.
Katie was 213 after the 15th one, with a strong set holding free and freeim tough.

....And if the stupid lighning didn't interrupt us, we would have had more unreal stats to talk about. All of these things happened in the first three days of the week....are we getting there??!?!!

I think we are.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I have a few practices to post on this blog, but that's going to come at another time -- it's been a long day, and I've got to get to bed. I do have one very important point I'd like to bring up though:

If you are swimming Florida HS, and you have meets every week (sometimes two per week) please understand what you are doing. You will not get season best times each week. You will not always do "what you think you are supposed to do" at the meets. Of course we want to be consistently good, but just like in every facet of life -- sometimes we do well, and sometimes we don't do as well as we'd like.


Now, please don't misunderstand. I think it's appropriate to expend more emotional energy at our major meets, like Florida HS States, Senior Champs, Nationals, Junior Nationals, Sectionals and meets that we are real focused on. You've got to up it, and have that emotional "MEET ENERGY" -- Energy that you don't really tap into everyday.

But you just don't need to tap into that all the time at HS Dual meets. That's a hard thing to get when you've got "in town" rivalries, etc.

Honestly, I'd prefer we expend a bit more emotional energy on our practice swims! I know someone's about to have a breakthrough when they can't live with there poor practice and come back the next day ready to break through a wall. That sort of emotional energy, spent everyday, comes back at you when you rest for your major meets!

Here's the deal: if you do well at a HS meet in September or October, compare it to your practice. Was it a fast swim? If it was, great. Doesn't that tell you that you can really train fast at this point in the season? Of course it does.

If you don't do as well, think about it: would the time you did be a good practice time? In many cases we think our meet times are no good -- but if we did those very times in practice, we'd be PUMPED. SO....understand that the only difference beteween meets and practice is that you are going from a dive in a meet -- but you are really in the middle of hard training. You are training to go really fast in November, period. If your best time in a 200 free is 147 and you go a 148 in practice, then that is GOOD. REALLY GOOD. So why do we get upset at meets if we are a little bit off our best times? If we had practice today, and you did that time at the end of a set -- wouldn't you be psyched?

Another thing to understand: you've got to warmup well at these meets. In most cases people hang out and BS the whole meet, then go up to the blocks and swim when it's time. It's like summer league in that sense. How many people are warmdown for a 600, then warmup 20-30 minutes prior to your event, do a few builds, get out and dry off, put on some clothes...then go swim you event? Then warmdown another 600. I'm not sure we're doing that. We WILL do that at USS meets, so you may as well practice it at HS meets. I probably haven't gone over that enough with you guys, so we'll discuss this at practice -- and I'll teach you the proper protocol if you are not doing it.

Hey look -- we just found another way to get better! THE SKY'S THE LIMIT!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We had 16 people at our Sunday practice today -- which is our most well-attended Sunday practice yet. Of the people who were not here, they are either getting in later today or I've been in communication with them about either getting a little more rest or doing something else worthwhile (these swimmers have been here consistently for the last 3-4 weeks on Sundays).

I know the Sunday stuff is new to everyone, so here are a few reasons I like these Sunday workouts.

1- The time from Saturday morning to Monday morning is the longest amount of time between practices we have every week. After 48 hours, our neuromuscular system has to re-aquaint itself with the water (and different medium than the earth on which we walk each day) -- and that re-introduction oftentimes takes up much of our otherwise useful energy. Staying "one" with the water throughout the week allows us to "train" more consistently, instead of having to waste a practice (Monday morning)just getting used to the water again.

For those who do not train on Monday morning, this Sunday practice is even more important. Going from Saturday to Monday afternoon is over 50 hours out of the water!

2- It's a recovery-type practice. I design the workout so our bodies are moving for 30 minutes "straight" -- interval swimming, and not too hard, but we're moving consistently. It's a great way to help the body recover from a hard week of training, while at the same time loosening it up to swim well on Monday.

3- We tend to take our time and work on skills on Sundays. We've been doing a great job with our single-arm free and it's starting to transfer to better technique during the week.

4- It's fun. We chill out. Music is generally playing. There are breakfast groups going out to eat afterwards. It's just great for team bonding -- with really no pressure to do certain times or make certain intervals. There have to be days like this in the week, and since we train hard often -- that day is Sunday!

Great to see everyone this morning -- keep convincing your friends to come too!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Check out the YMCA Norris Aquatic Center from up top!

Photo Credit: Davidson Engineering (Thank You!)